Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Final Table #117: Online Poker Update


Today on The Final Table show, we continued our coverage of the aftermath of the online poker shutdown with guests:
  • Oskar Garcia, a correspondent for the Associated Press, who has covered the developments in this story since before Black Friday, including the reaction of brick-and-mortar casino owner Steve Wynn;
  • John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, who explained how the shutdown will affect the efforts to get online poker legislation passed in Congress. John also answered criticism that has sprung up in online forums and blogs about whether the PPA is representing players or the online sites that have helped fund it;
  • Steve Day, an executive at PokerStars, who revealed for the first time that the cashier has re-opened so that US players can now get their money out of their accounts.  Steve explained the procedure, how long it will take, how your tournament tickets will be converted to cash, what happens to your Frequent Player Points, why Americans can't just take a weekend trip to Canada and start playing online again, and whether US players can win prizes by playing freerolls on PokerStars.net (as opposed to cash games and tournaments on PokerStars.com, where they are now banned).
The fact that PokerStars players can now withdraw their money is a big deal, and we're waiting to hear whether Full Tilt Poker will follow suit.  Meanwhile, Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet are involved in a lawsuit that's been filed in Antigua against the US government, via the World Trade Organization, claiming it had no right to freeze funds, seize domains, and take any action against online poker sites that are housed in other countries.

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We do The Final Table show every Tuesday 3pm to 4pm CT on 590 KFNS radio from the poker room of Harrah's St. Louis.

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Here's the Fortune magazine op-ed by Gary Loveman, CEO of Caesar's Entertainment, about getting online poker legislation passed, which we mentioned in today's show.